Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Austrian 15mm: Jager's and Artillery

I return to study for my Masters Degree this week, so that will soon become the latest interruption to the progress of painting as I find myself embroiled in reading on Project Management and the like instead.  Still there is a backlog of painting (and games!) to report, and I'm closing on the completion of my target for my initial 15mm Austrian army.

A fourth regiment has now been added, this being the first break from the all white scheme to date.  This is a Jager battalion; notionally the 2nd, who were brigaded alongside IR.10 at Aspern-Essling:

Jager Regiment in line
A chance to get away from that white, Iron grey is certainly an easier colour to work with.  Having both elements of the Brigade It was time for a commander to appear, In this case I went with their Divisional commander, as the rest of his force was cavalry, Here is Fieldmarshal Lieutenant Fresnal, with an aide from IR.10 by his side.
Lastly for this post, I painted a Grand Battery's worth of cannon, after all, I only needed to paint 12 gunners for 4 guns so it wasn't too much effort:

A lot of cannon!
I think I've managed the uniforms and guns well enough, these are Austrian 6 pounders - the only model Warrior Miniatures offers for their Austrians, but it does come with the characteristic horse artillery seat to add variety.  I'll save that for the second battery.

A little more cavalry and a third general and I'll have hit my target for autumn.

Time to try and arrange a debut in battle for them...

Friday, September 25, 2015

Imperial Assault - More Figures

No clever title again today, just some nice output from the painting table*.  Lots of Star Wars product in this post, why? well, I'm playing Imperial Assault regularly, so that's a good enough reason, but also they are surprisingly simple to paint well.  I'm getting pleasing results with limited highlights followed by a glazed wash.  This means even the biggest of the models takes no time.

 I'm trying to keep to cinematic paint schemes where appropriate - we'll see what breaks that rule in a little while - and so in many cases, such as the AT-St above that actually means relatively litle detailing.  No insignia, no paint markings, movies tend to skimp on such things when it's not that important.  One must presume that vid-screens and the like help commanders identify their unit walkers in combat, as nothing else would single this one out.
For the Emperor
 The same is true of the Imperial Royal Guard above and the E-Web gunners (Scout troopers) below:
'Pew-Pew' noises mandatory
 There's also the probe droid.  My memories of it from 'Empire' wereas virtually black, but production shots I found showed it to be more of a deep grey:
Bleep, etc...
 The same was not the case for you know who:

A disturbance in the Force
 How do you make Vader look like more than just an undercoated model?  Well theres a fine highlight to the blacks - infact very deep grey to give the shaded wash something to work with - and the helmet and other parts are finished with gloss varnish to get the right finish.  But the main thing here is one of my rare forays into OSL (Off Source Lighting); trying to give the impression of Lord Vader's lightsaber; illuminating him somewhat.  I've not gone overboard, and could've done a little more, but I think it works.

All the outright bad guys covered for this group, next the 'neutral' Trandoshan Hunters:

Lizard guys in a flight suit
 In the original trilogy, the only Trandoshan I recall is Bossk, one of the bounty hunters first seen alongside Boba Fett.  These models are similar, but not identical and so clearly not meant to specifically be Bossk.  The massive rucksack in particular is a bit odd, but I guess in their role as bounty hunters they need something to carry suitable provisions and restraints in.  Since finishing these, I've decided to change the bases to reflect their being part of a different faction in game.  After all Imperials are on grey, and Rebels...

 ...On brown!  I also managed to do a couple of the heroes from the set the Wookie and the Twi'lek.

And from behind.
A little bit of of highlighing for sure, but the Wookie's thick fur was done by a wash over the base colour, a highlight and then a second wash.  Simplicity itself.

Last but not least is the Hero of the Rebellion himself, Luke Skywalker:

Again, simplicity, and the model virtually painted itself.

So I'm now about halfway through the models for the core box and it's supplements.  Time for a small break for some other subjects I think.

*In truth, there is no table, I paint with a small tray on my lap at the minute.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Kings of War 2nd Ed - Battle is Joined

Hurrah! a battle report!

Hurrah, Kings of War 2.0 arrived!  In a rare stroke of good fortune I was the first amongst my gaming buddies to receive his Kickstarter package of the rules; two shiny rulebooks, counters, wound markers (not great in my opinion but you can't have everything, eh?) and a wee metal minstrel.  Another figure followed later.  This seemed like a good opportunity, having got my miniature collection into some order again, to arrange a battle.

Ross' Ogres would be the opponent, and we agreed to 2,500 points.  It was just small enough for me to field my Orcs and Goblins rather than the Dogs of War.

This I was able to do by fielding a lot of Orc Morax, armed with dual weapons chucking out a fistful of attacks, and two giants.  Simon and Nigel.

For Ross' part, he also fielded a giant along with hordes of Ogres armed with clubs and cannon.  We had the classic Kill and Pillage scenario, and lined up across pretty even handed terrain where the position of the pillage markers slightly favoured me.

From the Ogre lines
Legions of Ogres in Ross' centre
Orcs bolster the lines of allied goblins I needed
The Orcs advanced cautiously, looking to create traps and kill zones for the advancing Ogres.  They naturally used their pace to close range quickly, Ross looking to get his shotgun-esque missle troops in range quickly.

 Ross took the bait on my left, hitting my Orc Ax horde (40 chaps with shields) with a legion of Ogres.  As hoped we weathered the storm, and three units smashed into the Ogres on the counter-attack; resulting in 36 wounds on the unit, which swiftly dispersed.  This left a huge gap in Ross' line.  But he wasn't yet worried.  I had problems of my own...

There's a bit of a gap on my flank
 A regiment of fleabag riders covering my flank had bolted at the first strike of a troop of wolves, leaving my flank wide open.  I was going to need to redeploy to face a threat that could wreak havoc with my defence.  Forward Simon and my Krudger general in a chariot, in an attempt to delay the enemy from exploiting my problems.

Disorder, disorder
 Not everything by this point was going to plan, when you're relying on Goblins to face down Ogres you know you're on the ropes.  Although things were going ok on my left, I'd lost my own horde and some of my other key troops and it was getting difficult to contain the Ogres.  Simon and the Krudger had fallen to countless blows, whilst Nigel was far to the left; away from potential new foes.

Possession is 9/10ths of the law
Moreover the Ogres sat on three of the five objectives, whilst I could at best lay claim to only one.  Although the losses under the Kill part of the scenario were roughly even, possibly slightly in my favour by the end of six turns, the values of the objectives placed the victory clearly in Ross' hands,

A tight game, that I could have won with a bit of luck.

This isn't intended to be a full review of Kings of War 2nd ed. that may follow as I am aware after Age of Sigmar there are many people interested in the rules.  But it is safe to say they are streamlined without losing any of the elements that made the original game great, it is still easy to learn, fast to play, challenging and fun.

I look forward to more.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Dungeon Delvers

A few weeks ago I showed you some of the dungeon-crawl foes I'd been working on, well today lets have a look at some of the heroes I've completed to date.  First up a mighty warrior:

 Although dubbed a fighter on the back of his base, I think he is well enough armed for the likes of a paladin or similar.  I was especially happy with the rich reds on this model.  Next up a gnome or halfling thief:

I think this is a female model, the armour makes the anatomy, err, unclear.  I liked the jewel but some of the detail was a bit lost with my techniques.

This one is clearly a cleric or priest of some kind:

 There's around 6 layers of white to build up over the very lightest of grey bases.  I was really pleased with this one, and the next; a fine wizard:

 I used a fine (0.05) pen for the runic work, I'm not up to doing it with a brush.  Moving on, a wood Elf Rogue or Ranger:

 Not my favourite of the six but some of the greens are nice, I was especially pleased with the hood here.  Finally what party of adventurers doesn't need a stout Dwarf at its' heart:

Some Celtic and Viking themes on this chap are hardly surprising.

As you may realise, these are all plastic Reaper Bones models from the first Kickstarter set.  All in all this first set of six were a pleasure to paint, at a time when I was doing precious little else.  Ordinarily I find working on individuals slows overall output down though, and these fit into that mould.  Nonetheless, fun to do.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

More Austrian Infantry: IR.10

Were getting close to reports of actual games again folks, but in the mean time I've been able to make good progress on my Austrians.  Here's the start of a second brigade for the 1st Corps; IR.10 - the Anton Mittrowsky Regiment:

These are the Warrior Miniatures march attack poses and very pretty castings they are too.  Not world class, sure, but exactly what you want from a 15mm rank and file figure; neat castings of a good quality.

For these chaps a shot from the rear is justified.  On the first two regiments I skimped on painting the leather kit on the blanket rolls, but by this unit I felt that was just lazy and so... more detail than a model a centimetre and a half tall really ever requires.

One more infantry unit, some cavalry and some artillery and the core of the army - enough figures for a game anyway - will be done.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Victrix News: Ancient Spanish on way...

Victrix are a company I like, their products grace at least three of my gaming armies (Napoleonic Brits, French and my Spartans).  Their now tooling on their latest project, Spanish for the Punic Wars:

If I had any criticism of Victrix in the past it would've been that their models were rather static, compared say to the Perry's.  Not so this pack it seems.  I look forward to this lot, although I don't game the Punic wars directly, I can see the potential for this set kit bashed into Hebrew sicarii or Dogs of War duellists, or....

Their news announcement contains lots more detail, and some tasty morsels for the future too.  Ooh, exciting!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Cheapest Roads Imaginable?

Whilst doing the weekly shop, I often find myself on the lookout for a bargain or two I can make serve gaming needs. This week was no exception and I may well have come up trumps.

You see it is fairly common knowledge I guess that doormats can turn into a variety of fields; I recently started a home scenery collection (not for the first time) with an off-cut of coir doormat for wheat fields, but I was  also on the lookout for a proxy for ploughed fields.  So I'm in Morrisons - one of our British Supermarkets foreign readers - and I find just such a doormat:

Possibly the least exciting picture on the blog, ever.
The one online is rather dark looking but in store it was a mid brown colour and a good size.  Best of all a mere 99p.  

Idly I thought I could make use of it, and turned it over to roll up and bung in my trolley, under a quid was no great loss for some terrain.  I then saw the back of the mat was even more useful!

The back is a textured rubberised finish, non-slip, in black.  Being a cheap mat the overall product was pretty thin and I realised that whilst one side would work fine as ploughed fields, the other could be painted as even better road surfaces.

Sure enough, a set of scissors and some drybrushing saw the whole mat converted in a matter of under an hour.

Four fields and about eight feet of road: £1
If you need something cheap, tough and effective, I can't imagine anything better.  Keep your eye out for them...

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Giant News!

Not that sort ahem, but fans of re-purposing models may enjoy this one.

I never liked the GW plastic giant, he didn't seem to be that big to me, and for the price I couldn't justify one.  My visions of giants were always influenced by Jack and the Beanstalk and traditional fairy tale images of them striding over forests, wading seas and the like; not the Dungeons and Dragons and latter fantasy traditions of them being maybe 12 to 20 feet tall.

Secondly, I'm always on the lookout for models I can utilise in my fantasy armies, that bring scale, novelty and economy to my collection.  Trawling around the internet for some troll models I found an old toy that seemed ideal for just that remit.  It may have been termed a troll, but the order of scale was something else altogether.

And so for £10 on eBay I picked up a Harry Potter movie Troll:

Mine wasn't packaged, natch...
Being an eBay bargain mine was in a scruffy state, indicative of being played with not kept behind glass, he was lacking his accessories too, but that wasn't likely to pose an issue.  what mattered to me was the potential after a degree of polishing.  Firstly I added a club, made from a suitable twig, a piece of slate and some twine to arm the fellow.  Then I filled the worst of the gaps and sealed all of the mobile joints with super glue.  Then it was time for a nice black under coat and a progress picture.
Diamond in the rough

Next, was a protracted period in a cupboard, whilst I moved house!  But eventually he came back out and I decided to add some further detail to his right arm, to give some contrast and a sense of scale.  A sprue of plastic shields was sacrificed to put him in proportion.

I then began painting by hand mixing an enormous amount of flesh coloured paint.

Very pink!
 Gradually I built up many layers of flesh tones, before finally being satisfied with the finish, the clothes were four or five layers and kept simple, leaving only the details.  sheer volume accounted for this simple model took little longer to paint than a normally scaled single figure!

Finally I finished the base in the style of my Dogs of War army, a style that would also look acceptable next to my Orcs and Goblins; and lo, Simon the Giant was finished:

...and Back
The shield of shields, trophies from previous battles?
For a plastic toy, it has a great expressive face
 And in case you haven't figured it out by now, yes he is huge!:

Shown with one of my new(ish) foot knights for scale, Simon stands some 7.5 inches tall, almost twice as tall as the GW giant.  He infact gave me some storage issues, but I eventually found a box he and his more diminutive (Orcish) pal could live in.

Overall, I couldn't be more pleased with this bargain, he really adds some character and certainly gets to my ideas of enormity for giants.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Lord Hastinge's retinue Returns

Ok, so I am not getting any games of Lion Rampant at the moment, or many wargames at all, but I have still been painting, and indeed the painting output has spiked in the last few weeks.  Not surprisingly really, ahem.

The long and fraught process of finishing another unit of Feudals is complete; given that we are talking about a whole SIX models I find it laughable these took me two and a half months to finish.

Still here we are.

As knights on foot, these troops have staying power useful amongst the marshy bogs of Ireland, if not mobility.  Each one is an actual historical figure, with heraldry selected to show their alliance to Lord Hastinge, i.e. they are all in the base Or et Gules colours of Hastinge's retinue, but suggesting their lower prominence they all feature a third colour too.

Left to right they are the following:

  • Thomas Paynell
  • Andreu de Sakeville
  • Sire de Audenard
  • Peres de Hontigfeld
  • John de Camoys
  • Alisandre de Chene

I thought with this set I'd finally cracked the water effect, by leaving it to dry for several days between layers, but then two of them cracked as a result; I can only conclude that there is no way of using the material over filler without it cracking or peeling and that is something I will have to live with.  That said, I have found that a simple application of ink wash to the damage made it all but invisible.

And yes, some of you may be frothing with the thrill of seeing old-school Games Workshop Feudals painted up.  These are indeed originals from my collection bought in the 1980's and for many years quite averagely painted.

Better now.
One of them in fact is actually an even older Regiment of Reknown figure - pre-slottabase no less.  A long swim in Dettol and these chaps were glad to be under the brush once again, most for at least the third time.

Lord Hastinge will be glad of their resilience!